Mental Health Awareness Week

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This is a massive challenge now. It’s Wednesday 8th and I’ve decided to do my tiny bit to help raise awareness for Mental Health. Deciding to generate 5 posts, one for each weekday of next week – Mental Health Awareness Week.

I am not a Mental Health blogger, to my knowledge I am not a suffer of a diagnosed Mental Illness. There are so many people that are one or both of these things and within that group, some of them have found their voice and are amazing influencers and advocates for Mental Health. But there are others out there that has not found that voice, that struggle to open up and come to terms with things. These are the people I am doing this for. The scarred, the lost for words and the vulnerable. The people who want to scream from the rooftops but are so broken, shy and worried to do so that they sit in silence and let the world eat them up.

No more! Not today! Not ever!


The official theme of this week is Body Image – This is what the Mental Health Organisation have said about this topic:

“Body image issues can affect all of us at any age. During the week we will be publishing new research, considering some of the reasons why our body image can impact the way that we feel, campaigning for change and publishing practical tools.”

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But I don’t want that to stop us, I don’t want you to read this and think – my concern isn’t with Body Image, this isn’t relevant. I promise you everything is relevant. No matter what you are going through. Sit tight, buckle up and get ready for a week of informative, fun and relief. If I can change one persons life for the better than I will be proud. But I am going to need your help to achieve this.

Also check out the Mental Health Foundation website for tips, guides and articles about MH and what they are hoping to achieve this week.

All support, comments and love will be welcomed.

First steps into Mental Health blogging – I am a rookie in a Pro’s game. But I want to help. Wish me luck.


 

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April Round-Up

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I’m a touch late with this post. Usually, I’m fully ahead of the game and ready to drop these round-ups at the end of the month. But last month really ran away with me and now I am frantically tapping out a post to share my life with you.


Lots happened in April.

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We had a much deserved Bank Holiday weekend and my god the weather was amazing. Four days out in the sun, loving life and enjoying the moment – forgetting work and the troubles of the world, just sipping on shandies and painting the fence. We spent two days doing the garden, putting lights up, planting seeds, moving bushes and painting EVERYTHING, only stopping to top up the ice cold shandy and have another Hot Cross Bun. Then on Easter Sunday, we went to Cromer in Norfolk to see the GF’s family who were there for the long weekend in the caravan. This was really nice, an excuse to crack the shorts and sunglasses. It was an amazing weekend that I just didn’t want to end. Life felt so good.


Edmond de BergeracBlog-wise I’ve been up to lots of fun things, I got a chance to go to the Royal and Derngate Theatre to review another play – this time it was Edmond de Bergerac, which can be found HERE. It was a real surprise and such a good show – I absolutely love going to the theatre to review these plays, I feel so cultured with my glass of wine and a pot of olives for the GF.

This month also saw my first paid opportunity blog post as I was asked to promote Panasonic’s new line of shavers and razors – that post can be found HERE. This was a big stepping stone for me and I was so overwhelmed and happy when that came in and I can’t wait to build on this.

I also smashed all my goals for interactions and likes across social media. Hitting targets on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


There was also A LOT of wedding themed antics this month (not for me), I am a groomsman for my best friend in July so we had a suit fitting up in Nottingham followed by a few beers.

Then for another friend who is getting married in June, we threw a second Stag Do for him because a bunch of us from work couldn’t make it to his real one. This was a fun day of activities, drinking and laughing. We went to a place called Top Jump in Milton Keynes – a huge inflatable assault course that broke all of us in some way. Then a World Buffet Lunch, Mini Golf, Beers and Casino. Everyone was a bit busted up the next day for one reason or another but overall it was an awesome weekend.


Avengers Assemble!

Film-wise this month was obviously a big one for one reason which we will get to in a moment. Firstly let me mention Pet Sematary. The remake we didn’t ask for and didn’t need. I was not a fan at all and felt it was such a letdown. Then there was Hellboy which I reviewed HERE. This was a bit of fun, nothing serious, nothing special – just pure escapism which is needed at times.

Then there was the big boy – Avengers Endgame. We went to the Cineworld Double Bill – where we watched Infinity War and Endgame back to back which had a buzz and an electric atmosphere all night long. Now if you are in the slim minority that hasn’t seen it yet I urge you to go. My non-spoiler review should egg you on. It’s a masterpiece of huge epic proportion, 11 years in the making and it paid off so so well. I can’t wait to go watch it again.

 

 


The final big piece of news that you must have seen floating about.

I. GOT. A. DOG.

This is huge, I have wanted a dog for the longest time and I am so happy I’ve finally got one. He is still settling in and getting used to his new life but hopefully, he’ll feel right at home soon. I love the support and love you’ve all shown for him. He’s a cheeky little podge of a dog that means well, it’s clear he had neglect and lack of authority in his old house but he’s such a quick learner and I am sure in time he will truly be man’s best friend. Please welcome Buddy!

 

Men’s Gift Guide

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A Handy Gift Guide for the Men in your life.

What with Summer round the corner, fathers day and that important birthday for the special man in your life, I thought it best to put together a Men’s Gift Guide – because let’s be honest we all know that one guy who we struggle to buy for. Hopefully this post will help you decide something special for them.


One. – Panasonic Shaver

[AD] This entry is on behalf of Panasonic who have paid for a mention and advertisement.

Panasonic ES-LV6Q

Now no matter whom we have in mind, Dad, Husband, Best Friend or Milkman – more likely than not any and all men would love and appreciate a new shaver and this is where Panasonic steps in.

Panasonic has recently unveiled a new range of shavers, trimmers and clippers. The full range can be found here on “Shavers Panasonic UK”. In particular, I am drawn to the ES-LV6Q. Quoted as “The Next Generation Shaver for the Distinguished Gentleman” The ES-LV6Q uses a Multi-Flex 5D head, 5 blade technology and a 14,000 CPM Linear Motor Drive that is all packed into a comfortable sized handheld unit that gives outstanding results and incredible closeness.

Another great function to this unit that really bugs me with others is: say you have a mixed length of out of control beard and facial hair. Some razors, mine included, struggle to power through the fuller thicker sections. But with the ES-LV6Q it houses new sensor technology that can tell a thicker patch it coming and boosts the power to maintain the smooth action of trimming and minimises the skin irritation. I guess it’s like cruise control in the car – we don’t know HOW exactly it works, but it does and we love it.

Unlike other electric shavers, this one has the function to work wet or dry, for a quick trim or a full-on soap and lather shave – this unit is waterproof and developed with Japanese Blade Technology, the same the Japanese use for the manufacture of swords – and we all know how good their swords are, well imagine that in a razor.

Want him looking fresh, feeling fly and suave, then a new razor is always a great shout. As the main component in my bathroom in regards to my grooming regime, a trendy new razor will always be welcomed.


Two. – After Shave Balm

[Note] This entry is non affiliated, I was suggested to promote the product via a blogger on twitter. There is no personal gain from this.

https://miessence.one.organic/aromatherapist/en/product/11411/after-shave-balm

Now let’s be honest this works out really well with number one. After a lovely shave you want to finish the job off properly don’t you, you want to splash a bit of balm on to soothe and freshen up your now newly suave looking face.

This is where Miessence steps in, they are an innovative company focused on using Natural and Organic ingredients in products that work. Miessence are also 110% carbon negative, which means they offset more than they emit. So while freshening your face up you can feel proud you are doing your bit for the environment. With a couple of pumps to the fingertips, gently massage the face and shaved areas. This helps to calm razor burn and refreshes the skin. They also use marshmallow in this – so imagine that light and fluffy feel. Got to be worth a go right – treat yourself. . . . or him.


Three. – Hoodies with Purpose.

[Note] This entry is non affiliated, I was suggested to promote the product via a blogger on twitter. There is no personal gain from this.

Now I know what you are all thinking, Ross this weekend was a scorcher – who needs a new hoodie. Well this one is a must.

Firstly you want your man in comfort and fashion right, and to know he is doing his bit in support.

The C9 Foundation is a Scottish registered charity with their main purpose is to tackle Mental Health within grassroots football, with teams and their communities.

Run boy Colin and his awesome team, C9 is always striving to do the best, be the best and give the best back to the community and these hoodies and other clothing ranges, such as hats and shirts are one way of doing that. With the profits going to Mental Health charities, this hoodie really does have a purpose.

Of recent I have started to take an interest more and more in Mental Health blogging and support and without a shadow of a doubt I know Colin and his crew are doing and will continue to do an amazing job. Give him and them a follow on the following links:

C9Foundation / C9 Twitter / The Gaffer 


Four. – The Pawfection Pack.

[Note] This entry is non affiliated, I asked if I could promote the product via a blogger on twitter. There is no personal gain from this.

This one is for the dog lover in your life, that person who’d treat his four-legged friend over himself any day and for good reason. The Pawfection team are a small local business based in Cambridgeshire – who try to deliver the best service and the most affordable pricing they can in their quirky, cute boxes.

But don’t take it from me – here is Annie’s bio blurb about the packs:

“We at The Pawfection Pack also believe in supporting as many small independent businesses as we can, just like us, I always think it’s great when you find fun, quirky items that aren’t readily available on the high street, there’s something very special about them, as well as supporting the people who make them.”

Offering several style of packs, memberships, subscriptions and one-off buys, there really is an option for anyone. You can find their links just here:

Pawfection Pack / The Twitter Page / Stark’s Insta / Pupvengers Blog


 

Now how is that for a handy guide, a selection of ideas, quirks and gift picks. Give them all a look, take them for a spin and treat that special someone right. I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, learnt and lot and maybe even thought highly of me. I am always here to help.

 

Get Out – Review

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Man, I told you not to go in that house.

[I stumbled across this post – an old review that I wrote about 2017’s masterpiece ‘Get Out’. I have not edited any of text, I have just added the gif’s to break up the text with some visuals.]

Get Out is Jordan Peele’s feature film debut and let’s start by saying what a way to debut. This is a film about Chris a black photographer who is taking the plunge and meeting his white girlfriend’s parents for the first time. Which on a normal day would still be a nervous situation but in this case things just turn scary.

Reflecting social constructs right from the off, this film tackles Racism and Social Class in a brutal hyper real way, but still mirroring real life events and situations.

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The tone of the film is set from the opening sequence. A black man is walking through a suburban neighbourhood when a white sports car pulls up blaring the song “Run Rabbit Run Rabbit” – he tries to ignore it but as the car stalks him he turns to confront the driver and is jumped, knocked out and put in the boot of the car by a masked figure.

Powerful stuff in the opening five minutes and it doesn’t let up there. The whole time I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat wanting to know what was going to happen next, wondering if it was real or not.

So in true film fashion the white family live in a very white upper middle class neighbourhood – the kind you see hosting dinner parties on the lawn by the lake. Chris turns up and instantly feels worried, like the social norm would predict. Are her parents old-fashioned, will they accept a black boyfriend. But then again in true Hollywood fashion the parents try to be cool – the dad greeting Chris with “My Man” and voicing his opinions on how much he liked Obama as President. Again these can be seen as normal things that happen. We’ve all said something like that before to try to relate or show we accept and understand.

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Then we introduce hypnotism – the mother is a private therapist who obviously has her own office in the house. To begin with it’s just excused and laughed off. She tries to offer to help Chris quit smoking with her method, but he polity denies the offer. She finally gets a chance to do it after cornering him one night and subtlety doing it to him. From then on, Chris is put into a struggle. To work out if that was real, if everything is what it should be and then paranoia sets it and he starts to question and look at everything differently.

That is where I am going to stop with the plot. All I will say is things get dark, things get tense and things get violent. Keep an eye out for the Deer Head as well. Good luck.

Peele does something really clever and manages to get a dose of humour into this film in the form of Chris’ best friend Rod played by Lil Rel Howery. He is the typical black comic relief that helps bring the film back towards the realms of reality. It’s done almost like Rod is watching this film following Chris the character rather than Chris his friend. Until the end where the worlds collide and like I said makes things even more realistic.

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I am not sure how Jordan Peele did it and I really hope he doesn’t go the same was as M Night Shyamalan – starting on a high and slowly burning out but everything Peele put into this film works, the acting from all the cast is brilliant. Questionable, strange and nervous. Everyone portrays what they need to in such a convincing way that at the end you are with Chris, scarred and afraid of everything going on. The score and music choices are equalling as tense and frightening. Bringing you closer to the edge of your seat with every key change and obviously the theme – such a hot topic and social taboo to talk about is taken and ran with in a brutal honest display of real life culture and social constructs.

Overall I left the cinema very happy and proud of the film. Which I found I hadn’t really done in a while. It was brilliant, so good, I genuinely can’t stop thinking or talking about this film. There is a few jumps that you just don’t see coming, a bit of blood, gore and just an overall spine tingling feeling of nerves.

GET OUT! GO AND SEE THIS FILM.

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30 Before 30 – Mk2.

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At the start of last year I did a post about my “30 Before 30” list. Which can be found just Here‘ – but recently we’ve been talking about these lists at work. My friend has just turned 25 and is set on doing on. So he is in the midst of making his list. Which made me look at mine and kick-start my lazy bum into finishing it.

You might notice that a few of them have changed since last year, that is allowed.

Turns out I have 17 left to do and 22 months to do it – which is nearly one a month. Scary right!

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I need your help. Below is my list – I need to plan the fluff out of it to hit targets. I love a challenge and I am not prepared to fail right now. So this is what I am aiming for.

Learn a Language – Currently using Duolingo to learn Swedish
Visit Auschwitz – I believe there are talks of visiting this next year.
Cycle London to Brighton for Stroke Association – Worried about how realistic this one will be
Get out of Debt – Tough as I am so bad with money. But confident I can find a way.
Vegas for my 30th – This one won’t help the above one. But I will be ending this list in Vegas in 22 months time.
Write a Children’s book – Something I constantly go back to, but can’t workout the best idea or plan for it just yet.
Start my own business – Hey if this blog takes off maybe I could claim this as that.
See the northern lights – Always wanted to, but the risky thing is, they are never a guarantee to see, even in the Arctic Circle
Write a film script – Similar to the children’s book, I have several started projects floating about, but I fall out of love with them.
Learn to dance (Salsa or Ballroom) – Gotta impress on my Wedding day right?
Learn an instrument – Uke – Sitting in my spare room collecting dust. I might tweak this to “Learn A song” to give myself the edge.
Re-Visit New York – Tempted to treat the GF and link this to the next one for this year.
Spend New Year’s Eve in a different country. – I have to do this this year as there is no other New Years Eve before I am 30.
New Job – One day!
Get a Dog – So close, by this time next year I am sure we will have one.
Sex in a tent – Who even likes camping?!
Take up Golf – Clubs are in the garage. Time to hit the range.

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Happy New Year

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Tick Tick Tock. The clock has done another full circle, we have waved goodbye to 2018 and welcomed 2019 in.

This is the time of the year where everyone makes resolutions and promises for a better new year, a better them, a better life, and hellooooo I am always one of those people. Though like everyone else it’s a miracle I see it through. But here we go, time to make some promises and try to better myself. You ready?

  • Learn to be better with money.
  • Be healthier.
  • Be more organised and productive.
  • Tackle the 30 before 30 list.

I need to make some changes in my life, I need to better it – this year is my year. I’ve already told the GF this. It is time to focus on me (she supports this by the way) and so let’s do this, let’s make America 2019 great!

What are your resolutions, plans and goals? I’d love to know, if I can help anyway along the line please let me know. I am always here to support.

Have a good year you beautiful people.

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